Filed Under (Ethnomusicology, General) by Rob on 16-04-2008

Rob has made it to Bamako, Mali, for the first time, but is gutted that Timbuktu is too for for a weekend visit!

As I only arrived yesterday (Wednesday) I’ve not seen much of the place, but I like what I have seen. Above is the view of the Niger River, taken from where I’m staying. Here’s the same view during the day (surprisingly green for a semi-desert country in dry season):


I’m here teaching an ethnomusicology course to – somewhat bizarrely – a load of Cameroonians! There were a couple of Malians there too, mind. They’re altogether a great bunch of people – I think we’ll have lots of fun together as well as them learning stuff.

Walking round the streets of Bamako, my first reactions are as follows:

* Hardly anyone calls out to you or pesters you (much more frequent back home).
* Most of the drains are open ones, and quite rancid (yuck).
* It’s not as poor as I had expected (at least not in this quartier).
* There are NO zemidjans, but tonnes of bottle green bush taxis which circulate in the city, crammed with passengers.
* The houses have numbers and so do the streets here (what a novel idea!)
* It’s BOILING HOT here, but much drier. That said, we had a short thunder storm tonight.
* Lots more of those round hats on heads here.
* There seems to be music constantly blaring from several locations nearby. In fact, I had the somewhat surreal experience of hearing Jamie Cullum’s rendition of What a difference a day makes piped through my window earlier this evening…

In case you’re interested, here’s my appartment and bedroom here:


…and apart from that, this is about all I’ve seen of Bamako so far:


More news & photos soon, I hope!

2 Comments posted on "Rob…Mali."
anne on April 17th, 2008 at 3:38 pm #

hope that your teaching goes well, and lots is learned by all.

wouter on April 19th, 2008 at 10:52 am #

Hey Rob, looks/sounds great! Apart from the part where you heard Jamie Cullum, I would’ve left the city…:-)